Archive for the ‘Chris Thom’ Category
Guerrilla Kindness (Friends of Ms. Wyatt)
Today at 1:06am
Does $5 make or break you? 10? 20? To some people that amount of money can be food for days or a roof over their heads for the week. Simple, but true…
People still continue to amaze me. It seems that no matter where a person goes, you still can find good, heard working people. Kind people who are more than willing to lend a hand however the best they can. it renews faith in some ways. This is a note about one such person and a way that her legacy continues.
I was lucky enough to meet a very interesting elderly woman in Ohio, Barb Wyatt. Barb was one of these people. Living on a very meager income, she spent most of her life teaching, educating, and just plain lending aid to others in the ways that she was able. Late in her life, Barb was able to befriend a large group of truckers, and was able to educate us in her kind ways.
Barb was able to see nobleness in many people. She was able to explain her version of kindness. "Small things, unknown, can add up to a great deal to someone." She was the inspiration behind "Barb Wyatt Weekends." These events are plain and simple. If she or someone in a small group would learn of a person in immediate need, where a small amount of money would make a huge difference in their life…. a group would mobilize.
Mobilizing meant this. We would be given an address. Nothing more. To that address a group of people would anonymously grab a card, throw a bill in it (denomination was our choice and never disclosed) and mail it anonymously to that address.( Again, it was never anything huge. Maybe a 20. Something that wouldn’t hurt our financial situation. ) That was it. That simple. They never knew who was sending it… and it usually aided a great deal. This didn’t happen very frequently, only in urgent need. May I also add here that doing this really makes you feel that a small contribution is making a huge difference.
That said, Barb has passed some time ago. In honor of her, the "Friends of Barb Wyatt" continue this practice as needed to this day. Sometimes with huge events, but more often than not just doing a simple card and honoring this lady who inspired a great many people to do great things.
A need has been learned. The "Friends" have been called upon because there is an need that has been discovered. I say discovered as they did not ask…. it was found. A situation where a small amount of money or food can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Please remember that this is done anonymously. No return addresses, just a card and a gift. Anonymous giving was always referred to as guerrilla kindness. Where nobody really knows if you did or didn’t, and no big thanks ever comes. You just trust that it helps. And, in my experience, it does.
I know with Haiti, with all of the worlds frustrations, that one more isn’t really needed. However, I will say this is a direct approach to making a difference.
If you care to send an envelope, please email me and I will gladly send you an address. Its really not too late for Christmas cards! You’ll be amazed at what can happen.
By the way, if mailing a card isn’t your thing… here’s a great way to turn a bad day around. Hit a drive through. When getting your food leave an extra five and tell the cashier to apply it to the next car. They wont know what hit them, but you will have made their day! Oh yeah, and guess what…. that bad day? Usually turns around on the spot.
Thanks for taking the time to read this! Again, if you care to send a card, or just to think about it, please send an email. I will be glad to get you an address of a family in severe need.
I took this with permission from Chris Thom’s face book page. For those interested in joining the Friends of Barb Wyatt, you can contact him there, or even email me. If you cant figure out hw to email me, try email@example.com. here…
Story by Chris Thom
For those who are not following the debate and voting on the current cap and trade bill, this could come as a bit of a shock. For those who have been keeping up on it, YOU will lose more sleep than before. Please note that this bill HAS PASSED the house of representatives. We are very close to reality here. Please, read, comment, and forward to as many people as you may know! Please take the time to read as soon as possible.
The higher cost of electricity in North Dakota is just the beginning. Add to that the higher cost of all goods due to increased production and transportation costs, one will be faced with economic ruins within a very short period of time. All of this to support what could be termed a government supported pansi scheme.
From KFYR-TV, Bismarck, ND:
"Energy bills could see a huge increase in the near future.
A cap and trade bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives that is aimed at stopping climate change. Many Democrats say the bill would improve the nations economy by increasing jobs in renewable energy. Those opposed say it would raise energy bills because of the extra cost companies would incur.
""If cap and trade is passed at $30 a ton tax that means roughly three cents per kilowatt and 30-cents per gallon of fuel. You add that up for a family of four and your electricity bill probably is going to up about $400 a month, but economy wide it could be $4,000 or $5,000 a year,"" says Bill Kalk, ND Public Service Commissioner.
North Dakota`s Representative Earl Pomeroy voted against cap and trade.
The bill still needs to be passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by the president. "
This full article can be read at http://www.kfyrtv.com/News_Stories.asp?news=32047
The above comments are from the Public Service Commissioner of the state of North Dakota. A state that happens to rely on fossil fuels for energy needs, especially in the winter. I challenge anyone to safely utter the words "global warming" at -32 F.
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put cap-and-trade legislation on a forced march through the House, and the bill may get a full vote as early as Friday. In order to get this bill passed, the laws of economics will need to be re-written prior to forming this law. Their gambit got a boost this week, when the Congressional Budget Office did an analysis of what has come to be known as the Waxman-Market bill. According to the CBO, the climate legislation would cost the average household only $175 a year by 2020. Edward Market, Mr. Waxman’s co-author, instantly set to crowing that the cost of upending the entire energy economy would be no more than a postage stamp a day for the average household. Amazing. A closer look at the CBO analysis finds that it contains so many caveats as to render it useless.
For starters, the CBO estimate is a one-year snapshot of taxes that will extend to infinity. Under a cap-and-trade system, government sets a cap on the total amount of carbon that can be emitted nationally; companies then buy or sell permits to emit CO2. The cap gets cranked down over time to reduce total carbon emissions.
To get support for his bill, Mr. Waxman was forced to water down the cap in early years to please rural Democrats, and then severely ratchet it up in later years to please liberal Democrats. The CBO’s analysis looks solely at the year 2020, before most of the tough restrictions kick in. As the cap is tightened and companies are stripped of initial opportunities to "offset" their emissions, the price of permits will skyrocket beyond the CBO estimate of $28 per ton of carbon. The corporate costs of buying these expensive permits will be passed to consumers.
The biggest doozy in the CBO analysis was its extraordinary decision to look only at the day-to-day costs of operating a trading program, rather than the wider consequences energy restriction would have on the economy. The CBO acknowledges this in a footnote: "The resource cost does not indicate the potential decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) that could result from the cap."
The hit to GDP is the real threat in this bill. The whole point of cap and trade is to hike the price of electricity and gas so that Americans will use less. These higher prices will show up not just in electricity bills or at the gas station but in every manufactured good, from food to cars. Consumers will cut back on spending, which in turn will cut back on production, which results in fewer jobs created or higher unemployment. Some companies will instead move their operations overseas, with the same result.
When the Heritage Foundation did its analysis of Waxman-Market, it broadly compared the economy with and without the carbon tax. Under this more comprehensive scenario, it found Waxman-Market would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill’s restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035.
Note also that the CBO analysis is an average for the country as a whole. It doesn’t take into account the fact that certain regions and populations will be more severely hit than others — manufacturing states more than service states; coal producing states more than states that rely on hydro or natural gas. Low-income Americans, who devote more of their disposable income to energy, have more to lose than high-income families.
Even as Democrats have promised that this cap-and-trade legislation won’t pinch wallets, behind the scenes they’ve acknowledged the energy price tsunami that is coming. During the brief few days in which the bill was debated in the House Energy Committee, Republicans offered three amendments: one to suspend the program if gas hit $5 a gallon; one to suspend the program if electricity prices rose 10% over 2009; and one to suspend the program if unemployment rates hit 15%. Democrats defeated all of them.
The reality is that cost estimates for climate legislation are as unreliable as the models predicting climate change. What comes out of the computer is a function of what politicians type in. A better indicator might be what other countries are already experiencing. Britain’s Taxpayer Alliance estimates the average family there is paying nearly $1,300 a year in green taxes for carbon-cutting programs in effect only a few years.
Americans should know that those Members who vote for this climate bill are voting for what is likely to be the biggest tax in American history. Even Democrats can’t repeal that reality." – Printed in the Wall Street Journal.
So let me make sure I understand this…
First, we are going to set up a new form of federal government and regulation. (of course that will have no fraud or biases toward big-business) This branch of the government will set up limits of "carbon credits" thereby establishing the cap. Business can then trade amongst themselves and establish the trade of said credits, all the while passing the cost on to the end user. Does anyone else see the 8000 lb purple elephant in the corner? Proponents of this bill state that it will help to reduce the deficit. Where? Consumers will spend less, and the government will be spending a great deal more money to administer this new form of trade that it is creating. Stop, my brain hurts. How does this help again? It will absolutely kill working class America. In fact one study predicts a few outcomes:
1. Reduce aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) by $9.6 trillion
2. Destroy an average of 1-3 million jobs, every year
3. Raise electricity rates 90 percent after adjusting for inflation
4. Raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 74 percent
5. Raise residential natural gas prices by 55 percent
6. Raise an average family’s annual energy bill by $1,500 annually
7. Increase the federal debt by 26 percent, which is $29,150 per person
These predictions are based, in part, on the effects that the cap and trade system has had in the governments that have adopted it. Most of which are desperately trying to find their way back out of it. Is this something we should be running head-long into?
Welcome to a Global Economy…. Global Economy my ass. Pardon the french. Is this exciting new global economy going to help me make sure that I can feed and dress my children accordingly? I don’t see how it does. Especially as we adopt a cap and trade system and continue to funnel money into countries such as China, which we are turning a blind eye to on pollution issues. After all, we need our products produced there…. Really? REALLY?
God Bless America. And I pray that he guides our country through some tough decisions. I hope that our leaders can realize that their constituents are too busy trying to keep up with life as we know it, and may have given up on the system as it exists. If the bill passes, one can only assume that our Federal Government has completely turned its back on the population. At least that portion of the population that lives between New York and Los Angeles. The only positive that I see coming out of the passing of this bill is that your average, everyday American will be jolted into making intelligent reform within our government and provide the changes needed to, in reality, have true government "for the people and by the people" and possibly take back federal control over state and local control and freedoms.
I hope that I have provided some fodder to do research on your own, and encourage anyone who reads this to please spend a minute pondering how it will change your life. A second or third job in your near future (if you can find it) sounds great, I’m assuming.
Lets not forget this doesn’t just impact our cost of energy. It impacts the cost of EVERYTHING. Everything moves on a truck… and an increase in 30 cents per gallon in federal "tax" would have HUGE consequences when passed on to the end user.
Please pray for the future of our country, for our leaders, for ourselves to see the light through what could be some very tough times. Please also make your voice heard and please share your feelings on this with others and encourage them to inform their politicians of their thoughts.
Lets keep the words of our founding fathers in mind as we do so:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America….
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
by Chris Thom
“Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Prob’ly die in a small town
Oh, those small communities…”
- John Cougar Mellencamp, Small Town
Maybe Mr. Mellencamp had it right. Small towns here in the heart of
America may be the place to be!
After spending the 4th of July in the small town of Stanley, North
Dakota, it is firmly decided that there is no other place I would want
to be. A small town with its economy based in the core values of hard
work and an honest living are simply swelling with patriotism and pride
most of the time, especially on the holiday that celebrates our
The local VFW stated off the day with a city wide pancake feed. I am
here to tell you, these gentlemen, when teamed with their counterparts
in the auxiliary, provide a great start to a great day. It makes one
wish this was a monthly event. . . “more syrup, please.”
The next event in this string of family friendly entertainment was the
quintessential small town 4th of July Parade. There isn’t a thing to be
missed. The local vocal talent singing the National Anthem, the local
mayor announcing parade entries, endless local children all wanting the
same candy, and the cars, oh Lord, the cars. This is a chance for
everyone to show off their hard work and talent. Is there anything more
American than muscle cars, blowers, old pickups, and tractors? Maybe….
The only thing that comes to mind is the selfless volunteers who take
their time shining the local ambulances, fire trucks, and rescue
vehicles. Mind you, all of these are (over)staffed by volunteers. Would
this work everywhere? I challenge anyone reading this to take some time
and relax at a small town parade sometime. Even if you don’t live
there, the sense of community and just plain good positive energy is
Lets not forget the afternoon… If you cant find something to do. Go
HOME. The local outdoor pool and water park are open for children of
all ages to enjoy. If pool isn’t your thing, try your hand at the town
golf course (free of charge as always, of course). And further more, if
exerting as little physical energy is the way to go for you, hey,
problem solved. Picture yourself downtown looking at all the vintage
cars, trucks and machinery; all the while enjoying the smell of the
city-wide rib cook-off going on next door. If discussing cars, sharing
memories, and enjoying some American Barbeque isn’t American…. I must
be confused. By the way, after you have licked the barbeque sauce from
your fingers don’t forget to stop by the pride of Stanley. Stanley
Drug. One of the few remaining drug stores, and one of the even more
rare that has kept the original soda fountain in working order since
the 30s…. Don’t pass up a pineapple Whirl-A-Whip. Great on a hot day.
Not too shabby on a cold one either!
By now its 4pm…. I personally used some of the sugar rush to venture
over to the local arena and enjoy the local musical talent and crafts.
I don’t regret this decision at all…. Other than the calories from the
homemade donuts, lefse, lutefisk, and all other assorted local fare
offered up with pride. These events continue until 8pm when main street
becomes blocked off and the street dance begins. For those reading this
that have not made it to an official small town street dance, you have
no idea what you are missing. Put it on your “bucket list.” From the
ages of 4 months to 90 years, everyone enjoyed.
Of course with this as the Fourth of July Holiday, one cant pass up the
fireworks, either. Paid for and put on by the same volunteers that man
the local ambulance, fire and rescue squads.
I give this short synapses of a small town celebration to say this.
Once in a while, it’s a great feeling to forget the demands of today’s
political, economic, and social problems and just really realize that
family-oriented small town America exists. It is almost the America of
days gone by, but, if for one brief day, we can be reminded of how
strong we are as a country and why. Its not the “big-town” mentality.
It isn’t fast-paced. Its not even about anything more American than
celebrating with your current and former neighbors, and maybe meeting
some new ones. After all, aren’t we all really neighbors in these
United States of America?
My son was baptized in this same small town the day after all of this
celebration. I hope that with time he will come to love and appreciate
what it has to offer the way that his father has. I may be biased, but
I wouldn’t want it any other way. I challenge you to find as much pride
and strength anywhere than in small town America, where neighbors help,
support, and nourish each other. Whether that be through keeping
business local, or simply lending a helping hand when problems arise.
God has truly blessed America, and lets keep that in mind through our
current challenging times.
“Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who’s in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that’s good enough for me
Well I was born in a small town
And I can breath in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
And that’s prob’ly where they’ll bury me.”
copyright 2009 by Chris Thom All rights reserved